All GCSD Schools Open for In-Person Learning As Planned on Jan. 4

Please see an important message from Superintendent Dr. Marie Wiles:

Dear GCSD Families,

I hope you are enjoying your weekend as we wind down this holiday break. I’m writing today to confirm that all GCSD schools will reopen for in-person instruction as planned tomorrow, Jan. 4. Unless staffing shortages require all-remote learning or there is evidence of broader virus transmission in schools, we will continue to open our doors for in-person learning.

You might have heard that Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy commented that schools should switch to all-remote learning for the week of Jan. 4 to “help with the curve.” Albany County school superintendents met with representatives from the county and Albany County Health Commissioner Dr. Elizabeth Whalen on Saturday. During that meeting, it was made clear that all available data indicate that the rate of virus transmission in schools is low, and therefore, it is safe to reopen. Following the meeting, Mr. McCoy issued a statement affirming that the decision to close schools must be made at the local level, where each district’s unique circumstances can be given appropriate consideration.

At school, all of our health and safety precautions remain fully in effect. We remind you that it is critical to answer the daily screening honestly and that anyone who is sick or who has been in contact with someone who is ill should stay home. These are essential precautions designed to limit the spread of the virus.

We acknowledge that the next few weeks are uncertain as COVID cases in our area increase. We will continue to monitor our numbers and follow guidelines from the State and the Albany County Department of Health to determine if there is any need to transition to all-remote learning at any time. If such a transition becomes necessary, we will notify families as soon as we know.

Last spring, we saw the effects of closing schools for all in-person learning. So far this year, we have seen that schools can open safely amid this pandemic. To continue to offer in-person learning, we need everyone to do their part by following all safety protocols outside of school — this includes avoiding gatherings with anyone outside of your household.

Thank you for your continued efforts to keep yourself and others safe. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sincerely,

Dr. Marie Wiles
Superintendent of Schools

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